Last updated February 16th 2017
Playing one role is difficult enough for any actor, but imagine playing a character with many different personalities.
Israeli actress Inbar Lavi is more than up for the challenge. In her first starring role, Lavi plays Maddie Jonson, a complex, cunning con-artist in Bravo TV’s new original scripted series Imposters, which premiered last week on the popular cable network.
“Maddie is a con-artist who makes men and women fall in love with her, marry her, and then takes off with all they’ve got,” Lavi explained to Elle in an interview.
To get away with her crimes, Inbar’s Imposters character Maddie also assumes three other identities; Ava, Alice and Saffron.
While fun, playing a con-artist can be intense, the 30-year-old admits. “The main thing I noticed was how incredibly intelligent they are,” Lavi said in an interview. “It’s all about the attention to detail. They’re always 10 steps ahead of everyone else.”
From Ramat Gan to Hollywood
Born in Ramat Gan, Israel to a Polish father and Moroccan mother, Lavi always loved to perform. Her passion was first manifested through modern dance and ballet, which she performed in high school. She also attended the Sofi Moskowitz School of Acting in Tel Aviv, where she studied method acting. When she turned 17, she moved to New York City for eight months before accepting a full scholarship to the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in California.
Lavi’s acting idols include Israeli-born Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, and Israeli TV and film actress Ayelet Zurer.
No stranger to American TV viewers
Although Imposters is her first starring role, Lavi has had several supporting roles on American TV. She appeared in the 2012 MTV television series Underemployed as Raviva, a pregnant aspiring singer, and portrayed Veronica “Vee” Dotsen in the 2014 Fox television series Gang Related. She also appeared in the seventh season of Sons of Anarchy, and in 2016 joined the Prison Break revival in the role of Sheeba.
Imposters also has some star power. Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman will join the Imposters cast in the series’ third episode as Lenny Cohen, a fixer who is sent to keep the con-artists in line and eliminate any potential enemies.
Hollywood Reporter: “A breakthrough performance”
Although it’s too soon to tell how Imposters will fare in the ratings, at least one TV reviewer is already hooked.
“I think Israeli actress Inbar Lavi gives a breakthrough performance that will open doors for greater stardom, if only people in TV power check her out,” Hollywood Reporter Daniel Fienberg wrote in his review of the show. “The best reason to watch Imposters will be for Lavi and possibly just to get excited for what she’ll do next.”
An Israeli at heart
“I am Israeli first and foremost – in my blood, veins and my art,” Lavi told the Huffington Post in a recent interview. “I am here (in America) but my heart is there.”
Photos and video: Bravo TV